Jubilee Debt Campaign Birmingham

Sikh Community Shares a view with JDC

Posted on: February 26, 2009

Nirankar Singh Bansal is a member of the Sikh community from the Soho Road Gurudwara who has recently joined the local JDC committee. Here he shares why compassion with others and consequently the debt campaigns are important to his community.

The foundation of Faith As Sikhs we are taught that Dharam – ones self-acknowledged moral duty is underpinned by daya – compassion. You may often hear Sikhs refer to their tradition as the Sikh dharam or Sikhi as opposed to the western name Sikhism. The suffix ism denotes a set of beliefs/theories that guide a specific group of people where as dharam, rather than just being a set of theological beliefs ties the belief system with the moral duty a Sikh is never to compromise.

Without compassion a Sikh will be defective in his/her attempt to practice Sikhi. Qualities such as love, humility, selflessness, respect are all rooted in compassion and are common to all faiths. However whether an individual practices a faith or not these qualities should be an integral part of the human psyche. The quality of compassion reminds me of the story of Bhai Kanhaiya Ji.

Bhai Kanhaiya Ji came from a wealthy family but was always spiritually inclined so put less emphasis on his material belongings. Leaving home at a young age he travelled a lot spending time with various Saddhus and mystics in search of spiritual peace. His quest ended when he met the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (1621-75) and was initiated as a Sikh.

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Kanhaiya as a young boy in his search for spiritual peace

At the battle of Anandpur in 1704 Bhai Kanhaiya Ji was seen giving water to soldiers on the battlefield, the Sikh soldiers noticed that he was also giving water to the enemy soldiers who would get back up and start fighting again. Annoyed at this the Sikhs went to tell the guru, hearing the news Guru Gobind Singh summoned Bhai Kanhaiya to his darbar – court. When questioned he admitted to giving water on the battlefield but said he didn’t differentiate between friend and foe. As per the Guru’s teachings he said that he recognised the light of God in all and didn’t see whether they were Sikh or Mughal soldiers. Pleased with his Sikh’s answer Guru Gobind Singh openly commended Bhai Kanhaiya for his understanding of Sikh dharam and the teaching of the Gurus.

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The Guru told all the Sikh soldiers that as long as a Mughal soldier was fighting against justice and truth they were an enemy but as soon as the soldier fell wounded he was no longer an enemy. As a wounded soldier he deserved the same treatment as a wounded Sikh soldier. Guru Gobind Singh gave Bhai Kanhaiya some bandages and ointment and instructed him to see to the soldiers injuries as well as give them water.

This story is a practical and loving reminder that as humans as well as being capable of sharing in another’s happiness we should feel their pain only then can we commit ourselves to helping others.

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1 Response to "Sikh Community Shares a view with JDC"

[…] great to see how Birmingham’s Jubilee Debt Campaign groups has begun to get guest authors for the blog they set up through the social media […]

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